This week, I will be sharing our experience using the Creighton Method, which is considered a natural birth control method.
If you missed last week’s blog post about natural birth control methods, aka natural family planning, you can read it here. It’s a good starting point if you have never heard of natural birth control methods, also known as natural family planning, or fertility awareness.
I know, it’s a lot.
But hopefully through this weekly series of fertility blog posts, I can help you digest some of the information.
What is the Creighton Method?
Before diving into our experience using the Creighton Method – we must define it.
The Creighton Method, also known as the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, is a comprehensive system that utilizes the observation and charting of cervical mucus. The cervical mucus helps identify when a woman is fertile or not.
Additionally, you are also keeping track of any pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding (or spotting), and other relevant hormonal markers. These observations provide valuable clues about potential underlying medical conditions, or hormonal imbalances that affect your reproductive system.
Our Personal Experience
So as you’ve learned, the Creighton Method is a natural form of birth control. However, in our case, we are using it to help us conceive. Moreover, it is helping us understand my reproductive system to determine if I have any underlying conditions preventing us from having our first baby.
At first, I wasn’t sure about the Creighton Method because I felt completely overwhelmed. Everything I had to learn about the chart, and how to chart, was stressful. But I must admit, I was also introducing something new in my life at a busy time in my career.
Nonetheless, I forced myself to learn something new. I was all in.
The Recording System
The chart feels like a school project. You are given a chart and stickers to capture six months of biomarkers (or data) for each menstrual cycle that you have.
Thankfully, there is an entire booklet dedicated to the Creighton Method. In this booklet, I learned what to look for and how to chart it. You see – the Creighton Method emphasizes on observing, interpreting, and tracking changes in the cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle. This is done by monitoring the color, consistency, and sensation of the mucus.
And guess what?
There is a vaginal discharge recording system to follow, making it easier to understand. Also, with the help of our Creighton Method certified instructor, I was able to successfully chart my first couple of menstrual cycles.
To help understand what the chart looks like, I am adding a chart from the Creighton Method booklet. In the description below the image, you will see a short analysis of each cycle. In this example, you are seeing four different scenarios: Infertility, Miscarraige, Low Progesterone, and Abnormal Bleeding.
Our Certified Instructor
If you read The Journey to (Hopefully) Becoming Parents blog post, you learned that we have a dedicated Creighton Method certified instructor – Pam. This means, she is well versed with the method and serves as a guide throughout this entire process.
And no, she is NOT a doctor, hehe. I was so confused at first, but after understanding that she is only a health educator, I understood the concept.
I think it is pretty freakin’ cool that we have a dedicated resource like Pam. We can literally pick up the phone and text her if we have any questions, or doubts. She has been a wonderful resource to have these last few months.
At first, we met every month until I got comfortable using the Creighton Method. Now that I have the hang of the chart, we meet every other month. Plus, Pam already referred me to a doctor that specializes in NaProTECHNOLOGY. This is who I will be working with more closely to determine the root cause of our infertility issues.
OK – this is where it gets interesting.
But first – let’s quickly define NaProTECHNOLOGY (or NaPro). NaPro is an approach that is more natural and holistic when it comes to issues related to the female reproductive system. It involves monitoring a woman’s menstrual cycle and identifying underlying issues based on her menstrual cycle and data points.
Remember that chart I referenced above? Well, using this chart, my NaPro doctor can decipher the data, and highlight anything that stands out. That said, it is critical to use the Creighton Method chart in order for my doctor to practice the NaPro approach.
Hopefully this gives you insight as to why the Creighton Method chart and NaProTECHNOLOGY go hand in hand.
After meeting with our doctor for the first time, she was able to confirm that my menstrual cycles appear to be normal with the exception of one biomarker. Apparently, on some months, my estrogen levels look a little on the low side. It’s only a matter of time before she decides how to address this.
In the meantime, I started a new series of ultrasounds. These ultrasounds are done on specific days of my cycle, which I think is pretty cool. The first ultrasound was before my suspected ovulation day to see if I had a mature follicle that was getting ready to release an egg. And the second ultrasound was after my suspected ovulation day to see if I actually ovulated.
My body freakin’ did it. These ultrasounds confirmed two things – number one was that I had a mature follicle in my right ovary and number two was that I ovulated. We were ecstatic to know this fact.
Not to mention, my cervical mucus was ovulation type mucus, which was great to see. Also, I had right abdominal pain, which is a typical symptom I feel each month whenever my ovary is releasing the egg.
I honestly could not be happier to know that I have always been in tune with my body.
So what’s next?
You can say we are in the early process of elimination. So far – there are no cysts in my ovaries, which is great. My cycles are pretty regular so that’s fantastic. I ovulated, but that was something I already knew.
The next step is a series of blood tests to see how my progesterone levels look like after I ovulate. My doctor wants to make sure they rise and fall when they’re supposed to. This test will be a strong indicator that our future baby will stay inside me whenever I do get pregnant.
Also, I will need to complete a Hysterosalpingogram (or HSG) to see if my tubes are blocked. This will tell us a lot so looking forward to this procedure.
And if we are still not pregnant by late this summer, we will move forward with a Laparoscopy. Through this surgical procedure, we will determine if endometriosis is the culprit, which I have strong feeling it is.
Needless to say, I am fascinated by the Creighton Method and how it works in conjunction with NaProTECHNOLOGY. I know that I didn’t fully embrace it at the very beginning, but now I feel comfortable charting my cervical mucus and whatnot.
Also, please know that the Creighton Method can be used by any woman interested in their reproductive health.
Whether you are looking to achieve pregnancy, seeking a natural birth control method, or even breastfeeding, the Creighton Method offers a comprehensive approach that can provide valuable insights into your reproductive health. It has become a valuable resource in assisting women understand if there are any underlying hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed.
If you would like to find a Creighton Method certified instructor near you, I’ll link their search tool here.
I hope this blog post served as a helpful guide about the Creighton Method. Based on my personal experience thus far, I would encourage any woman to look into it. If you are curious to learn what led us here, I encourage you to read this blog post – The Journey to (Hopefully) Becoming Parents. Perhaps you’ll read something there that speaks to you and will help you decide how to move forward with your decision.
As always, if you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot over a message on Instagram. I am always happy to chat!